Being involved in a car crash can drastically alter your life. Not only is the experience terrifying, but it often produces a slew of mismatched emotional responses, including shock, confusion, extreme relief, surprise, anger, giddiness, or uncertainty. Given the range of emotions that can come with an accident, it’s hard to know what you need to be doing to properly handle the situation.
The following will explore four things you need to do after a car crash. The aim of this list is to help you minimize pain, financial loss, recovery time, mental health implications, and legal strain while focusing on what’s in your best interest.
Speak To A Lawyer Before Speaking To The Insurance Company
If you’ve been in an accident, you know you’re going to have to talk things over with your insurance company. But before you do this, you need to understand how insurance companies work. Most accident claims lawyers will tell you that the insurance business thrives on them giving out less money than they’ve received, and the bigger the difference in what they get and give, the better the company is doing. Because of this, insurance companies tend to pressure people into solutions that aren’t actually in their best interest but rather in the insurance company’s best interest.
They often have mechanics, forensics teams, and doctors in their employe to make their cases as airtight as possible. To make matters worse, you often can’t legally pursue additional or alternative compensation once you sign something with an insurance company.
Most attorneys offer free consultations during which they’ll listen to your story and explain what your options are. You should be aware of all your options before you make a choice; your future financial wellbeing might be on the line.
Seek Medical Support
Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important that you reach out to a healthcare provider you trust. Things like shock and other medical conditions can result in you not fully sensing your injuries. There are many types of injury that need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid longer heal times or permanent damage.
Once you’ve received a treatment plan, it is very important that you follow it. If you end up in a legal scenario where compensation is being discussed, ignoring a doctor’s recommendations can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim you are. If you are unhappy with a recommended treatment plan or with the side effects of prescribed medication, seek out a second opinion.
The latest studies show that about 20% of patients are misdiagnosed by their doctor. Johns Hopkins University just found that the third-leading cause of death in America is medical error. If you feel something is wrong with your treatment, don’t simply ignore the treatment; find another medical professional to help you through your situation.
Focus On Mental Health
While being in a car accident probably has you overwhelmed with car repair discussions, work schedules, physical health concerns, and legal considerations, it is your mental health that should be at the forefront of your efforts. Car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in America. You might also be struggling with feelings of self-worth, especially if a huge part of your identity involves work that you can no longer do, your finances are in danger, you need help to do basic things around the house as you recover, or you’re unable to meet previous obligations with comfort or ease.
As discussed above, you might be running the gambit of emotions, feeling deliriously happy one day and horrifically down the next. It’s normal to have extreme emotional reactions to experiences like this. Make sure you have someone you trust to speak to if you need support.
Stay Off Social Media
While the rush of emotions you’re feeling probably has you wanting to express yourself loud and clear, it’s best not to do this on social media. In fact, you probably want to avoid it altogether until any claims or legal proceedings are complete. Lawyers, judges, insurance employees, and law enforcement can all access your social media and use anything you engage with against you. Even something simple like sharing a cute photo of your puppy can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim to be. Unless specifically instructed by a lawyer, stay off social media.
The above list should give you the initial steps you need to take post-car accidents. It’s important to remember that your main priority at this time is recovering from any injuries or mental struggles associated with the accident. This might mean you need to move at a slower pace for a while, and that’s okay.